Cesare Barbiere Endowment to Mark Publication of the English Zibaldone

International Conference will focus on Giacomo Leopardi’s Major Work

What: The Cesare Barbieri Endowment for Italian Culture is sponsoring a two-day conference marking the publication of the English translation of Zibaldone, the major work of Giacomo Leopardi, considered one of the 19th century’s greatest thinkers and a towering literary figure in Italian history. Leopardi is viewed by many as the finest Italian poet since Dante. The conference is free and open to the public. The Common Hour event is open only to the campus community.

The conference sponsors include the Borden W. Painter, Jr. Fund for Italian Studies; the Italian American Legislative Caucus Educational Fund; and the Sebastiano Ambrogio Charitable Foundation.

Where: The Joslin Family 1823 Room, Raether Library on the Trinity campus, 300 Summit Street, Hartford.

When: Monday, September 23 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday, September 24 from 8:25 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.

Background: A collection of the writer's ideas, observations and analyses over 15 years, the Zibaldone, or Hodge-Podge, as it is affectionately known by some, was published in Italy at the turn of the 20th century – more than 60 years after its author's premature death. Until now only parts had been translated into English.

The new edition, produced under the auspices of the Leopardi Centre at Birmingham University, is the full, unexpurgated classic, and stretches to more than 2,500 pages. It took translators in three different countries seven years to translate the work before it was published in the United Kingdom.


Monday, September 23

I. The Zibaldone, language & translation

9 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.: Introduction

Welcome by Richard Ross, Trinity College Librarian

Franco D’Intino, The English Zibaldone project

Discussant: Irene Marchegiani of Stony Brook University, a poet and author of papers on Leopardi.

10 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.: Leopardi’s Language

Alessandra Mirra, Thematic language registers in the Zibaldone. Mirra, of the University of Pennsylvania, is author of Leopardi teorico del tragico.

Discussant: Silvia Ricca of the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris, who is writing a dissertation about Leopardi on the social sentiments.

11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.: Translation

Pamela Williams, A translator’s perspective on the Zibaldone. Williams is a principal translator of the English Zibaldone & co-author of The Atheism of Giacomo Leopardi.

Discussant: Gabrielle Sims of Harvard University, who is a translator of Leopardi’s Discourse on Romantic Poetry.

II. How to read the Zibaldone

Noon to 12:50 p.m.: Keynote Lecture

Novella Bellucci, Due modi di leggere lo Zibaldone. Bellucci, of the University of Rome, is author of Il gener frale & several other books on Leopardi.

Discussant: To be announced.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Lunch in Mather Hall

2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Break

III. Leopardi’s legacy

4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.: Keynote Public Symposium in McCook Auditorium

Welcome by Thomas Mitzel, dean of the faculty, Trinity College

Michael Caeser, Leopardi & modernity. Caesar, of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, is co-editor of the English Zibaldone.

Daniela Bini, Leopardi today. Bini, of the University of Texas at Austin, is author of Fragrance from the Desert & co-translator of Zibaldone: A Selection.

5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: Public Reception in the Faculty Club in Hamlin Hall

Tuesday, September 24

IV. Fresh looks at Leopardi

8:25 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.: A New Interpretation of the Zibaldone

Paola Cori, The Zibaldone as Leopardi’s self-education. Cori, of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, is author of articles on Leopardi in RISL & Italian Studies.

Discussant: Michael Caesar. of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, who is co-editor of the English Zibaldone.

9:25 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.: Symposium: Leopardi on Existential Issues

Chairperson: Irene Marchegiani

Dario Del Puppo, Nourishment & nature in Leopardi, professor of language and culture studies at Trinity College. Del Puppo is the author of articles on Leopardi in Italica & Modern Language Review.

John Alcorn, Leopardi on the meaning of it all. Alcorn is principal lecturer in language and cultures studies at Trinity. He is the author of articles on Leopardi in MLN & Modern Language Review.

10:50 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.: Leopardi on the Cement of Society

Silvia Ricca, Social sentiments in Leopardi

Discussant: Franco D’Intino of the University of Rome, who is co-editor of the English Zibaldone.

11:40 a.m. to 12:14 p.m.: Buffet Lunch

V. Keynote Lecture – Notes into poetry

12:15 p.m. to 1:20 p.m.: Trinity Common Hour Event

Welcome by Borden W. Painter, Jr., president emeritus, Barbieri Endowment

Pamela Williams, Leopardi’s atheism, principal translator of the English Zibaldone & co-author of The Atheism of Giacomo Leopardi.

Discussant: John Alcorn.

For more information, please visit: www.cbendowment.org.